The New Generation

In terms of larping, I’m actually pretty new. I’ve only been larping for 3 years and sometimes I hate to admit that. All the older generations having war stories of years past. Along with those great stories though, there’s a lot of unpleasant ones and a lot of things were different. Over time stuff changes, new generation comes in, and things do get better.

I am the new generation of larping.

So what is this new generation? Well, there’s plenty of reasons as I see it. Now remember, your experience is going to be different than mine.

Community: I’m going to start right off with one of my favorite things about this new generation, the community. The community I am part of is hands down the best community of people I’ve ever met. Yes, there are a few bad seeds, but they are going to be everywhere you go. The important part is there are so many less of those people. They get weeded out eventually, or learn that their attitude isn’t going to work out. I don’t feel like I’m forced out by other cliques within my own game. I don’t feel unwelcome, even when traveling to other games I feel like I can fit in. The inclusiveness that I see from everyone is amazing as well. We accept people from all walks of life and we want everyone to feel they have a place in our community.

 Photo from Utopia Descending's opening event

Photo from Utopia Descending's opening event

Staff favoritism: People often assume that because I’m an ST I can do anything I want with my character and get away with it. That’s not at all true. As an ST, I am held to the very high standards and I should be the best representation of the community I can. It doesn’t mean I can break rules because I feel superior, it means I should show example of how to follow the rules. If an ST gets something awesome as their character, it’s not because of special benefits, it’s because that person is an ST due to the fact they have a great understanding of the game to begin with. I feel that that STs I personally know do a fantastic job at representing game and staying fair.

Female roles: I’ve heard the stories and I’m happy to see that girls aren’t always forced into one role. Staff positions? Hell yeah we have girls there too! An opportunity that did not exist in larp until somewhat recently, and even then it’s still ‘new’. It’s cool seeing some girls go out there and kick ass.

Taboo topics: There are many things out there that horrify us, and that’s great, but there are topics that no one wants to deal with, and we make sure no one has to. In the instance something does come up it is taken care of very quickly once brought to the attention of the directors. Many games and communities tell people to suck it up or just to opt out of situations because it’s not real. Going to games designed to keep these topics out 100% make it much more welcoming.

PCs > NPCs: Gank squads, undefeatable stats, targeting new players, all things that I’ve heard and seen happen. I’m happy to say my community does not support this. When playing an NPC, the fun shouldn’t be in how many kills you get, it should be in how much the players are enjoying it. I’ve talked with people that firmly believe NPCs purpose is to do as much damage and kill as many people as possible with no regards to the players. Sending 10 high ranked baddies at a new player and their friend because it’s a ‘guaranteed kill’ is awful! If a new player happens to die it’s fine, but don’t target them as easy kills. As an NPC you are there to put on a show, make the players feel important, let them have their moment to shine.

New players: As stated previously, people have the tendency to take advantage of knowing people are new, and that’s pretty shitty. A lot of people push away new players because it’s not cool to be seen with someone new, or they don’t want to be bothered helping new players. Thank goodness that’s not how it is with my community. We love our new players. They’re our next generation as well. If we know you’re new we’re going to go out of our way to check up on you, help you find something to do, maybe lower some stats a bit on enemies to give them a chance to be a hero on their first game. New players should always be welcomed with open arms.

There’s a lot out there that’s changed. All the old stories I’ve heard I don’t quite understand how that could have happened. It does blow my mind sometimes to hear how careless some of these larps were. And you know what? It doesn’t make me feel sad that I’m new and missed out. It makes me proud to say that I am the next generation of larping. I want everyone to be able to feel the same about it. I want people to be proud of their games and their communities.

Do I think everything is all wonderful all the time at every game? Sadly, no. The community I am a part of now though, a community that has been spreading, that is one I could see being the standards eventually.

Thank you to everyone that puts so much love and work into this community.

I am the new generation of larp.